Anti-aging has become a popular topic. Millions of people want to learn how to delay or even reverse the symptoms of aging. Some people are mainly concerned with appearance and want younger looking skin and hair. Others are more interested in having the energy and vitality of their youth, including sexual vitality.
There are a variety of techniques, nutrients and other anti-aging systems that have the possibility of slowing down the aging process. The following are some of the most promising of these. Keep in mind that these approaches should not be seen as mutually exclusive. You will probably get best results if you combine several or even all of these strategies.
Nutrition is probably the single most important element in any anti-aging strategy. The way you eat has a huge impact on your overall health, energy levels and the rate at which you age. There is no single best diet for everyone, but there are certain guidelines worth keeping in mind.
- Consume a Healthy Variety of Nutrients – Regardless of what type of diet you follow, it’s important to get a good mixture of vegetables, protein and carbohydrates. You also want to consume these from healthy sources. If you consume animal products, for example, try to get them from natural or organic sources. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic.
- Eat Moderate Portions – Being overweight is one of the factors that can reduce your longevity. Studies also show, however, that being underweight isn’t healthy either. You should aim for a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index), which is calculated based on your height and weight. The number of calories you consume every day should be consistent with attaining or maintaining your ideal weight.
- Avoid Unhealthy Foods – When it comes to diet, what you avoid is at least as important as what you consume. Junk foods, fast foods, sugar, white flour, processed foods and fried foods should all be avoided or at least minimized. You can often improve your diet by doing more of your own cooking.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Drinking water keeps you hydrated, can help reduce hunger so you don’t overeat and can even improve your moods. Water is the best thirst quencher. Avoid beverages such as soda and sweetened energy drinks. Even fruit juices contain large amounts of natural sugar, so they should only be consumed occasionally.
- Consume Alcohol in Moderation – Studies show that moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial. Drinking too much, of course, can pose serious health risks. People who are prone to alcoholism should not drink alcohol; they can gain the same benefits in other ways, such as by taking a resveratrol supplement, the antioxidant found in red wine.
Exercise is another important factor that can improve health and have powerful anti-aging effects. There are several factors to keep in mind when exercising to delay aging.
- Maintain Muscle Mass – Recent studies show that muscle mass may be even more important than BMI in affecting longevity. That’s why both men and women of all ages should engage in weight training or some type of strength training for anti-aging purposes.
- Gain the Benefits of Interval Training – There is evidence that interval training, which means alternating between low and high intensity during workouts, is the most effective way to exercise for health and longevity. This also has the advantage of taking up less time. You might, for example, gain more benefit by doing 20 minutes of interval training on a treadmill or elliptical machine rather than using the same machine for a whole hour at a steady, moderate setting.
- Understand the Benefits of Moderate Exercise – When it comes to exercise, consistency is the most important factor. Even moderate exercise can yield important benefits on your health and reduce symptoms of aging. In fact, excessive exercise may actually be detrimental in that it can cause stress and may actually accelerate aging.
Health and Beauty Care Supplements
There are many supplements and beauty care products that can be used to enhance your appearance and reduce the symptoms of aging. These may be supplements you take internally or that you apply externally to your skin and hair. The following are some supplements worth considering for your anti-aging regimen.
- Fish Oil – This is one of the most powerful and versatile supplements you can take. Rich in healthy omega-3 fats, fish oil supports cardiovascular and bone health as well as healthy skin and hair.
- CoQ10 – Coenzyme Q10, better known as simply CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that occurs naturally in the body. However, as we age, we produce less and less CoQ10 naturally. Taking this as a supplement can help you look and feel younger. It’s good for the cardiovascular system as well as the skin. It helps the body fight free radicals that cause disease and aging.
- Healthy Oils – In addition to taking a fish oil supplement, there are healthy oils that are beneficial to apply externally. Sesame oil has been used in many cultures for centuries for the way it supports skin health and a youthful appearance. Another very healthy oil is coconut oil. This can be applied to the skin as well. There are also benefits to cooking with coconut oil and using it on salads and other foods.
- Carnitine – This is another nutrient that the body produces naturally. Carnitine is essential for converting fat into energy. It has been proven helpful for a variety of conditions, including angina, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. Taking carnitine may help enhance brain functions such as memory.
- ALA – Alpha lipoic acid or ALA is a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement that can help with weight loss, higher energy and boost overall levels of health and energy. This is a nutrient that is difficult to find in foods, so to increase your levels of it you’ll have to take it in supplement form.
Letting Go of Stress
If you want to slow or reverse aging, you should make it a priority to let go of stress. There is evidence to suggest that stress plays a major role in the aging process. It follows from this that reducing stress can be an important part of any anti-aging strategy. Everyone experiences stress differently. Fortunately, there are many techniques and practices that can help you reduce stress.
- Get Enough Sleep – Lack of sleep can cause stress and accelerate aging. On the other hand, healthy sleep habits can help slow down the aging process. If, like many people, you sacrifice sleep to get in extra hours of work, leisure or socializing you should rethink this habit. If you get less than seven hours sleep, it would be worthwhile to change your schedule to fit in an extra hour or two of sleep. If you can’t do this at night, try to fit in a nap at some point. If you have a chronic problem with insomnia, you should talk to your doctor about it.
- Be Physically Active – We’ve already looked at the benefits of exercise. Still another reason to be physically active is to reduce stress. This doesn’t even have to be a traditional workout. A walk in the woods or in the city, gardening or playing your favorite sport can help you stay active.
- Learn to Breathe – Breathing is something you already do, or you wouldn’t be here. However, many people do not breathe in the healthiest manner, especially when they experience stress. You can actually reduce stress and improve your health and well being by taking longer, slower breaths. You may want to take up a practice such as meditation, yoga or tai chi that teaches deep breathing. These practices are also great for overcoming stress in general.
- Nurture Healthy Relationships – Another way to reduce stress and improve emotional well being is to maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. If you are involved in toxic relationships, this will cause stress and can accelerate aging. You also want to avoid social isolation, another factor that can increase stress and reduce longevity. Even positive interactions with pets can reduce stress and promote emotional well being, though this isn’t a substitute for human interactions.
Choose Your Anti-Aging Strategies
These are some of the ways that you can help to delay or overcome some of the symptoms of aging. The techniques upon which you focus will depend on your own situation, health, personality and preferences. If there’s one principle to keep in mind, it’s that balance is essential for healthy living and anti-aging. For example, eating too much or too little can cause problems. Similarly, you need just the right amount of exercise, rest and human interaction. What is just right is not the same for everyone.
With technology and medicine advancing at such a rapid rate, there’s a good chance that we are on the verge of some truly revolutionary advances in anti-aging. Some futurists, such as Aubrey de Grey, believe we will soon be able to defeat biological aging entirely. This remains to be seen. However, you can still make the most out of the anti-aging systems and strategies that are currently available.